New HTPC build for the 21st Century - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-16-2013, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I know that all of you will jump on this. I have started my second HTPC build. My first HTPC build occurred in 2006. And that system was upgraded with an NVidia based 8200 motherboard and AMD Athlon II-64bit Dual Core 4600+ CPU in 2008. With the upgrade my first build could record two HDTV streams while watching a recorded TV show. And it can also play Blu-ray movies. It streams Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon without any problems. The biggest problem with the first build is the fan noise. The system has 750 GB storage Except for the TV turner card I’m leaving the system intact. Yes I said it plays Blu-ray movies. Since the system is now more than 5 years old, I have decided to build a new system.



So the new HTPC for the 21st Century is:


The case uses heat-pipes to cool the CPU, so there is no more fan noise to deal with. Except for noise generated by the hard-drive and Blu-ray player, the system will be silent.
The following is a list of components that I have ordered.
1) Streacom, FC5-OD-EVO-Silver case.
2) 150W PSU-250mm cable +150W AC/DC converter
3) ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.
4) AMD A8-5500 Trinity 3.2GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 65W Quad-Core
5) CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800).
6) Seagate Barracuda, 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache
7) PAN-UJ-265, Panasonic Slim Blu-ray Writer SATA (Slot Load
8) Windows 7 64 bit
After much research, I decided on the A8-5500 Trinity Quad Core APU, so that I would have plenty processing power for future growth. I selected the motherboard based on a comparison review of the A75 vs. the A85X chipsets. The review comparison basically showed no performance difference between the two chip-sets, thus I decided on the lower cost option.

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post #2 of 30 Old 02-17-2013, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I do plan on posting posting pictures of my build. I will start with a review of the old system.

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post #3 of 30 Old 02-18-2013, 12:46 PM
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Interested to see how it turns out.

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post #4 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Good Day Every-on,
Today I will power up the new motherboard with the Trinity CPU A8-5500.


Currently everthing is connected except for the Power cables to the motherboard. Always install the memory before connecting the power. As soon as the memory arrives today, I will connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and power it up.

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post #5 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, another picture


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post #6 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Good Evening everyone,
The memory arrived around 6:00 this evening. I installed the memory into motherboard, double check everything, plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Then I unplug the power-supply from the wall outlet and connected to the power cabkes to the motherboard. Reconnect the supply to the wall-outlet and pressed the power button. The computer started right up and requested and display a message requesting a reboot and boot disc.



After rebooting I got in the BIOS setup of the mother board.



Please see my next post!

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post #7 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Please excuse my english. Sometimes my fingers refuse to type what my brain thinks.
After configuring the BOIS, I inserted the Windows Install disc, rebooted and start the install of the OS. So now I have my first gocha! When I got to the hardware configuatin screen, I inserted the ASRock Drivers disc and loaded the the ACPI driver. I got the follwoing error on the screen "Error: "Windows is unable to install to the selected location. Error: 0x80300001."". I did a google search and found the following information. see link http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/error-windows-is-unable-to-install-to-the-selected/485b0db0-e4d9-400c-9461-f5d53abf6c8d

Afer reinserting the Windows disc I was able to compete the install on Windwos 7 64bit.



After installing the OS, I started to load the device drivers. I have also activated the system using the old fashion land line based phone. I plan on disableing all sleap functions and performing an 72 hour burn in of the system.


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post #8 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 08:28 PM
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Maybe I missed this, Bruce, but when does the case arrive? Build looks good so far!

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post #9 of 30 Old 02-23-2013, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The case arrives after March 11th, Just hope it's this year:). Since this is my first computer build since 2008, I'm a little nervous. I have read horrior stories of bad motherboards, memory sticks, hard drives, and CPUs. So I think I will let the thing run for a few days and see what happens. I can recall of having only one componant failure in over 20 years of building system. The fail componant was a hard drive and the vender replaced it.

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post #10 of 30 Old 02-25-2013, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Good evening all,
Is there anyone out there enjoying the Oscars? The new system has now been up for more than 24 hours. I now have a 2nd problem to report. This problem had absolutely nothing to do with the new hardware or Windows 7. I had thought that I would be able to use my Belkin USB Wireless N Adapter on the new system. I had gone to the Belkin web-site and download windows 64bit device driver and tried to install it on the new system. The new device driver refused to work with the 5 year old USB Wireless adapter. Cutting to the chase here, I ended up buying a new Wireless N Adapter
.
After installing the new wireless adapter, I was able to connect the new hardware to the internet. I immediately went to the Avast site and downloaded and install the Avast Anti-Virus program. I have use Avast for more than 10 years, it’s free, fast and I have never had a virus to get into any of my systems.

After installing the Anti-Virus program, I initiated the Windows Up-Date program. After an hour, the system finished updating and rebooted.

Playing and Streaming movies and videos requires a codac pack for decoding the sources. Back in 2008, when I updated my original Media Center PC, I purchased Power DVD Ultra version 8. Over the years CyberLink has provided cost free updates and they have updated my Power DVD Ultra to version 10. Power DVD Ultra version 10 can play 3D Blu-rays. So today I installed and activated my original copy of Power DVD Ultra version 8. Then CyberLink begin updating the new system and after 6 updates, I have version 10 on the new system. Thanks CyberLink. Power DVD Ultra recognized the graphics hardware and made the links to the ATI Avivo HD API enabling hardware accelerated decoding.

I also installed Playon, VmcPlayit and Netflix. All is good and all are working as they should through the Media Center Application.

Good Night.

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post #11 of 30 Old 02-26-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Good Afternoon Everyone,
I need some help! On my old Media Center, I have been renting movies from Amazon for a long time. I used the Unbox program and view the rental download via WMC video folder. As for Amazon streaming, I have been using Playon and vmcPlayit toe stream the videos.
I noticed that Unbox Rental looks the best in the Unbox player. And the streaming stuff looks the best in Internet Explorer.
Has anyone find a way too natively support these two operations in WMC7?

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post #12 of 30 Old 02-27-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,
Everythink is fine after the 3 day power-on. I just received the 150W PicoPSU. The PSU is hooked up and the system is now running.

I am looking for WMC plugins. Please list you favorites?
Thanks

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post #13 of 30 Old 02-27-2013, 04:47 PM
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The only one that I really use is Media Browser. I love it. I use it with my MKV rips and MPC-HC. I found that having a Roku was much easier than fiddling with WMS integration for things like Hulu, amazon and even netflix..

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-27-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

Good Afternoon Everyone,
I need some help! On my old Media Center, I have been renting movies from Amazon for a long time. I used the Unbox program and view the rental download via WMC video folder. As for Amazon streaming, I have been using Playon and vmcPlayit toe stream the videos.
I noticed that Unbox Rental looks the best in the Unbox player. And the streaming stuff looks the best in Internet Explorer.
Has anyone find a way too natively support these two operations in WMC7?

http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3397

Here's an Amazon Prime streaming plugin for WMC
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post #15 of 30 Old 03-01-2013, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,
I have another problem to report. The 150 W PicoPSU is having a problem. During stress testing the little power supply voltages are all over the place. It’s so bad; it interfering with the TV basically knocking out reception of most of the TV stations. So I found another Pico PSU that is rated at 160W. Please see the link;
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/X1-ATX-160W-DC-ATX-Output-12V-Input-DC-DC-PC-Power-Supply/211500_553436047.html

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post #16 of 30 Old 03-08-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All and Good Evening,
A big box arrive on my door step this evening, yes it’s the Streacom case that I order last month. So I have some pictures to show. First the package that the case arrived in looks series.



Opening the box reveals one of the best looking cases I have ever seen!


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post #17 of 30 Old 03-08-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I just couldn’t wait another day, so I removed the cover and got started with loading this wonderful case with its intended hardware.

First I opened the case.



I removed the OD bracket and installed the mother board.


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post #18 of 30 Old 03-08-2013, 08:33 PM
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That case is too rich for my blood; I could never bring myself to spend more than around $100 for just a case. That said, it looks beautiful and I am jelly :P Good luck with the build man, hope everything goes easily.
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-08-2013, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Next the heat-pipes went in.



After installing the heatpipes, I continue with the hardware. Streacom included the rubber pads for mounting the hardrive. After installing the hardrive, I mounted the Blu-ray slot loading drive its bracket and installed it into the case. I connected all of the cables including hooking up the IR receiver.



I am currently using the 150W Pico PSU. The Pico PSU will be replace when the 160W X1-ATX arrives from Hong Kong. I have tested the Microsoft Media Center remote and it works. I will start installing some more Media Center plug-in tomorrow.


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post #20 of 30 Old 03-08-2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

That case is too rich for my blood; I could never bring myself to spend more than around $100 for just a case. That said, it looks beautiful and I am jelly :P Good luck with the build man, hope everything goes easily.

Yup, once in a while we get someone in here wanting to spend as much money as possible on high end equipment. If you are going to do it I think for a HTPC a case is not a bad place to dump the cash, it makes more sense than a core i7 or anything like that. cool build
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post #21 of 30 Old 03-09-2013, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi jeffkro,
Sometimes it's not about just dumping the money. I have some very nice old equipment, but yet I have a full surround system using equipment that dates back to 1973.. My orginal HTPC is still a nice system. It can record two HDTV streams while playing a blu-ray, stream netflix, or prerecorded HDTV program. The orginal HTPC can also bit-stream Dolby Digital and DTS audio streams to my external surround processer.

The reason for the upgrade is to be able stream Netflix HD. and start using Windows 7. When I first saw the Streacom FC5 a few years ago, I throught it would be cool sitting with the rest of my componants. Considering that the new HTPC will be around for many years to come, the price is the FC5 is not bad. I you were to build a complete new system, buying new cases every year or so, then the FC5 is very expensive. The quality of Streacom cases are very high. The craftmenship is the best and remainds me of the craftmenship of my 35 year old turntable which I still use. The new FC5 all metal construction is the best that you can have. So I think the quy who said its too expensive should rethink his comment.

I am now streaming a HD stream from NetFlix and brosing the internet at the same time. The APU has two cores running between 30 and 40% load and sometimes a third core will start up. The APU temperature is funning between 33 and 39 degress C. The right side of the FC5 feels very warm to the touch. While typing this not the temperture has drop back to less then 30 degrees C.

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post #22 of 30 Old 03-09-2013, 06:26 AM
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A HTPC case is the one item that is least likely to become obsolete or out of date and can potentially be reused for many years and many builds to come. I completely understand the splurge.
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post #23 of 30 Old 03-10-2013, 09:37 AM
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I agree. Everytime i don't get the right case I end up swapping out for it later at much more hassle.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #24 of 30 Old 03-11-2013, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Good Evening,
Today the Pico-Box X1-ATX-160W power supply arrived from Hong Kong. The board looks real good, but none of the wiring harness are long enough to use the PSU in the Streacom FC5. I will talk more about the X1 later.
Two weeks ago when I first powered up the Motherboard, APU, Memory, Pico-Box Z2-ATX-24Pin PSU, and drives, the system would go into sleep, but would resume from sleep. I spent a lot of hour’s trouble shooting the system and decided that the main problem was with the PSU. I continue to search the internet for a solution for the resume. I tried all of the Microsoft suggesting and patches with the last resort being reloading the operation system. Since the software loaded was the same software that I use on my old HTPC I assume that the install software was not the problem. So after a lot of time spent trouble shooting this problem the number one suggestion is that the Z2-ATX-24Pin does not properly implement the ATX circuits to wake the system up. So I would just stay away from them in the future.



So when I received the X1, I connected it up and sure and behold the new system resumed from sleep without any problem. So I got out an old power supply and used the harnesses from the old supply to extend the harnesses of the X1. So after a few hours with the soldering iron and reassembling the system I have now completed the hardware build of my new HHPC.



The blue light on the left side is the X1-ATX=160W PSU.


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post #25 of 30 Old 03-12-2013, 11:27 AM
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Very nice!

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post #26 of 30 Old 03-16-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Bit Streaming not working over HDMI
Hi Everyone & Happy Saint Patrick’s Day,
I have some software issues with my new build. Of the 3 software issues I have solved one, of the other two, one is minor and the other is major.
A quick fix for the minor one is to plug in the Microsoft IR receiver to fix the support the old Microsoft XP Media Center Keyboard.
The major problem is that I cannot get the HDMI to pass-through DD5.1 and DTS to my Samsung HDTV. The old Media Center did this without any problems after loading the SPDIF Direct Sound device as the default audio decoder.
When the new system is switch to SPDIF output, then DD5.1/DTS passes through the optical output without any problems.
I have tried using both SPDIF and ACFilter direct sound filters without any success. I do know that these problems are caused by the default Microsoft DTV/DVD Audio decoder. In my old NVidia base system, I could select the SPDIF direct sound filter as the default. The new system does not allow the selection SPDIF direct sound filter; it will come back and say that a decoder is missing.
How do I go about replacing the default Microsoft DTV/DVD Audio decoder?
Thanks for your help.

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post #27 of 30 Old 03-23-2013, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Bit-Streaming Solved, DolbyDigital and DTS passes through from HDMI through HDTV to optical out.

Hi All,
Yes the comment is true. OK I read the the EDID Override thread and decided to today to apply one of the Overrides for the Samsung HDTV. The sound went completly dead on the TV after appling the Override. So I had to back back out and pick the Generic PNP monitor. Opps, now the New system bit-streams right through the HDTV to the DolbyDigital/DTS decoder.

MediaCenter PC >---- HDMI----< Samsun HDTV >---optical----< DolbyDigital/DTS decoder.
Now I can turn down the volume on the HDTV and fire up the Surround System just like I did with my old Media Center PC smile.gif


I have order a new IOGear Media Center Keyboard to replace the old Microsoft Windows XP Keyboard.
Restore Microsoft default video and audio decoders.

So this project is now completed!!!!!!!

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post #28 of 30 Old 03-24-2013, 09:30 AM
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Congrats, it looks awesome!

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post #29 of 30 Old 03-24-2013, 10:07 AM
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How much everythng cost?
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post #30 of 30 Old 03-26-2013, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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How much everythng cost?

I really don't like to quote cost of componants. the Streacom FC5 case ended up being the highest cost part of the system. All of the parts can be priced on Amazon & Newegg. The Pico power supply was a waste and I lost $40. But then the working ATX-X1 supply end up costing me only $18. I would recommand that everyone stay away from the Pico PSU. The Pico PSU's do not have sufficant filtering for these types of appliaitons

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